Ask the readers: Help! DH stepped on my oldschool Kindle 3

We didn’t have an ask the grumpies thing queued this week because it has been a crazy insane week, but I have an emergency question!

#1 asks:

DH stepped on my old school Kindle 3– the kind with the side page turners (which I love) and the keyboard.  If money is no object, should I get the Voyage, the Paperwhite, the currently-offered no frills kind, or a used ebay replacement?  (Amazon no longer sells refurbished Kindle 3s and the replacement screens are no longer available for sale anywhere.  We tried all the recommended kindle rebooting things and they erased the stuck picture but it still no longer shows new text.)  If money is an object, what would you get?  Anybody have personal experience with multiple kindles?

I don’t have an answer to this.  The replacement kindle 3 is $35 (including S+H) but sold “as-is” from a 99.4% satisfaction store that has sold 45 of them so far.  The no-frills is $99 without ads.  The Paperwhite is $139.  The Voyage is $219.

Like I said, I really like the side page turners, but I haven’t tried reading with the screen touch, so it might be fine.  I am also skeptical of lighting, but again, haven’t tried it so it might be fine.  I don’t want to see how much time the kindle things I have left– I liked the percentage left options, but I might get used to it.  Basically I’m scared of changing up something I like for something that might irritate me.  But it might be fine!  Is it fine?

Thanks in advance for your help.  I need to keep reading She (free on kindle!– also the origin of the honorific “She who must be obeyed”).  Analysis paralysis is not fun at all.

43 Responses to “Ask the readers: Help! DH stepped on my oldschool Kindle 3”

  1. Leigh Says:

    I had a similar quandary recently because my Kindle 3 stopped booting? It seems to have resolved itself, but I ended up going with a Paperwhite. They upgraded them recently, so they’re pretty close in features to the Voyage. I didn’t want to spend the extra $80 to get a Voyage…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Which do you prefer, the kindle3 or the paperwhite?

      • Leigh Says:

        This happened so recently I don’t have it in my hands yet :) I’ll let you know in a few weeks!

      • Katherine Says:

        I have a kindle 3 and my husband has the paperwhite. I like the kindle 3 a lot better. The light on the paperwhite never really turns off (even at the lowest setting, it’s still noticeable) and I find the touch-screen page turn annoying. I have a hard time turning the page when I’m holding it with one hand, which isn’t a problem for me with my kindle 3. Often I fail on the swiping to turn the page and either it doesn’t turn when I want it to or it does when I didn’t intend it to. I haven’t quite gotten the timing right on when to swipe to get it to turn the page exactly when I’m ready for it, but if I used it more often I probably would get better at it.

        If I were in your shoes I would go for the used kindle 3 because it’s cheap and in general I think buying used is the right thing to do for environmental and social justice reasons.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        :( I was hoping there wouldn’t be a bad option! The ebay person has now sold 47 of these things.

      • Leigh Says:

        I’m really looking forward to the Paperwhite because I read on the bus a lot and in the winter, it’s going to be dark while I’m commuting. I hardly use the keyboard, so I’m not going to miss that part. I am worried about missing the physical page turn buttons though the Paperwhite seems easier to highlight things. (My boyfriend has one and I’ve played around with it a little bit.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        #2 has a paperwhite. I don’t swipe to turn pages, I just tap the side of the screen with the thumb of the hand I’m holding it with. Works much better, so easy!

      • JaneB Says:

        I stood on my Kindle 3 too, so sad :-( I replaced it with a paperwhite

        I have a paperwhite and I turn the pages when reading one handed by bopping it on my nose – sounds stupid but works, and I find that using my thumb to turn the page sometimes results in me dropping the kindle (my hands aren’t great though). But bopping works very well!

        There are upsides and downsides to the light – for me, the big upside is that with the light and the largest text setting, I can now read in bed without my contact lenses/glasses – this is great because reading mind-candy is my favourite way to shut down my brain on busy/fraught days, but the effect is lost if I have to use some brain to sort out eyewear before going to sleep, and without eyewear I can’t see well enough to read a paper-based book without a really bright light which wakes me up. Also, good for reading in dimly lit public places. In fact, my parents, who never ‘got on with’ my earlier Kindles, were very impressed with it – they found the earlier ones worse than paper books for elderly eyes but the paperwhite is definitely better, especially under electric light.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Which do you prefer, the Kindle 3 or the Paperwhite?

  2. Calee Says:

    Loved my kindle with side buttons but love the paperwhite so much more.

  3. monsterzero Says:

    I really like my Paperwhite; does your Kindle really not have backlighting? For me one of the best features is being able to read in bed without having a lamp on. You can adjust the light level quite a bit. Also you can switch modes between percentage left, time left, and nothing by touching the bottom of the screen.

    I am a compulsive proofreader so I also enjoy being able to touch a misspelled word and submit an error report.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yes, originally not having lighting was a feature to make it different from reading from your e-notebook (easier on the eyes, no staring at a bright screen before bedtime). Is the lighting different from, say, ipad lighting? Can you turn it off if you want?

      That’s good to know about the percentages.

      • Rented life Says:

        I didn’t know you could switch modes, mine has always been on percentage. The light can change quite a bit, nothing like iPad lighting. You can’t turn it “off” but having a it all the way down it very dark. I had originally bought a Nook bc you can turn that light off but there was so much I didn’t like about it than I ended up with the paperwhite.

      • Mimi Says:

        I loved my oldschool (all three of them – one faulty, one broken, one that is still in use but was passed to DH when he got me my paperwhite), but I (like Calee) love my paperwhite SO MUCH MORE. In higher light reading, it looks just like an oldschool kindle in reading, but in lower light (like in the places in the house with less than ideal light or on an airplane without having to have that nasty overhead light on, etc). It still is fine to read in direct sunlight. The one thing that I would say is that it is more “fragile” than the oldschool kindle because the screen can get dinged. I am pretty hard on electronics and I take my kindle lots of places with me and I can’t just slip it into my purse on its own. So I bought a cheap cover and that works just fine. I’ve had it for 3 1/2 years now and I wouldn’t go back to the old school.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        #2 has a paperwhite in the cheap case. I’ve taken it all over the place with no other protection in my carry-on. It works great. You can adjust the brightness from way up to way down. If you want to change from percentages to locations to page numbers (If the book has them), then just tap on the percentage at the bottom of the page. Keep tapping to change the mode. ETA: the screen is matte, not glossy, so way less glare than something like an iPad, and it looks way less smudgy.

  4. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Hey #1, if you really need to read that book right now, you can always download the kindle reader to your laptop and read it there until you get a new e-reader!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Also if money is no object, for heaven’s sake get a new paperwhite. It’ll come with a warranty and all that. ALSO, this is important to #2 (me): the new paperwhite is SIGNIFICANTLY faster on pageturns than the old kindle. There’s almost no noticeable flash when the page changes, a BIG improvement over the old kindle!!! (I am not employed by amazon, it’s just a better product. I held off on getting a kindle because I hated the ‘blink’ of the page turning but the new one has almost eliminated that!) Also if you have prime, amazon will happily send you a kindle free and fast.

      Ok I’m done now, really I am.

  5. J Liedl Says:

    I upgraded from my keyboard Kindle to a Fire almost two years ago and only rarely do I find the screen suffering in terms of readability. Direct sunlight is tough on that. But I kept my old Kindle in the drawer in case of catastrophic failure or a long trip in the bright sun. I use the Fire for a lot of my daily computing needs and it really shines as a multifunction tablet. Plus, taking notes on the Fire (in the books, as I often do) is so much easier than with the old keyboard Kindle! So if the keyboard part of the Kindle is important to you, check and see what onscreen keyboards are like for the model. I found a host of online video walkthroughs that allowed me to preview the functions of each type when I was shopping for my own Kindle and for others’.

  6. fizzchick Says:

    We had a similar death of the kindle, and replaced it with a pair of paperwhites when they were on sale for $99, because I was tired of waiting for a chance to read something my husband recommended. I agree that it’s a little harder to turn pages one-handed on the paperwhite, but the variable lighting is nice for reading in bed without disturbing others. I’m in the process of knitting mine a cover, but we’ve had them a couple of months with no problems. Also the family sharing thing is nice, if you have multiple devices/amazon users.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Thanks! Is the one-handed page turning going to really annoy me? If you had to do it again would you go paperwhite or get another Kindle 3? (Or try the Voyage…)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        #2 says, I turn pages one-handed all the time with my paperwhite, I never have both hands. Just tap the side of the screen with your thumb. No swiping.

  7. Leah Says:

    I’ve got a kindle fire I inherited. I have never highlighted or taken notes — sounds like I might be missing out! I really like it. I tap the side of the screen to turn pages, and that has worked well for me. I found the kindle particularly great while nursing, as I could just use my pinky to tap and turn. I read a lot of books in those first few months!

    I definitely recommend a cover. I’ve no idea how much mine costs, as this was my mom’s (I inherited when she got an ipad mini). I read mine a lot in low light, so it’s nice to have the lighting. Plus, I love that I can watch movies and such when traveling and on wifi, since my mom has prime. But if that’s not a plus, I’d go with a more basic model.

    Let us know what you like once you get it!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m not really looking at getting a Fire– we already have an Ipad. Or will have an ipad again if it ever gets back from the conference hotel I left it in last week.

      • Leah Says:

        Then I vote for the paperwhite. I think you’ll find the backlighting comes in handy more than you realize. I have done my fair share of reading in the dark since I got my kindle, both to avoid waking up the baby and the husband.

  8. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    By #2’s suggestion, and because we had to go to Best Buy anyway, I played around with the three different kindles on display there. The Voyage is definitely not in contention– the thing that I would have gotten it for, the side-buttons, failed to register my fingers in a timely fashion. I had no trouble tapping on the left side with a thumb to advance a page and on the right to go back. The % finished was easy to display.

    I did not like the backlighting on the paperwhite, but turning it way down made it the same darkness as its less expensive companion. Giving both devices (the paperwhite and the basic kindle) the same font-size made it clear that the paperwhite has crisper print. Is that crisper print (and the ability to get a backlight, which I might want on say, an airplane, if not before bed) worth $40? The new menus are more intuitive than the Kindle 3’s.

    Also, I think this package is cool.

    So I think I need to now decide between the paperwhite and the original (and if I get the original, I might get that kid’s pack!). I do think the paperwhite and the new no-frills version are an improvement over the (much loved) Kindle 3 for the features that I actually use. Overall, I think the paperwhite is better than the original product, but I’m not sure it’s $40.

    So to answer my question, if money were no object, I would go with the Paperwhite first, the new no-frills version second, a refurbished Kindle 3 third, and the Voyage fourth (mainly because if the side buttons aren’t going to work, they shouldn’t be there where they can get accidentally hit).

    DH wants to pay for this out of his allowance, so I’m not sure if that means money is no object or if it is more of an object! I’m not upset at all with him for stepping on the Kindle 3 because accidents do happen. I’m just bummed he didn’t do this before father’s day, because I think the next big amazon sale won’t be for another month or two (back-to-school) and I’m not sure it’s worth waiting that long to save $20.

    #2 says to be sure to buy a cover, and online reviews agree with her– the new versions sound like they have more delicate screens than the old.

  9. Cloud Says:

    Oh! Sorry I missed this yesterday. I had an old school Kindle with side page turn buttons that I Ioved, and then it died and I had to replace it. I got a Paperwhite. I was afraid I’d hate the touch screen instead of buttons, but that hasn’t bothered me a bit. The only time I find it a bit more awkward is when highlighting text, but I’ve learned the tricks now and it is good. I love the backlit screen that allows me to read in the dark- e.g., when trapped in a kid’s room keeping them company while they fall asleep. It was also great on the recent long plan ride- I could keep reading when the lights went out, without having to irritate my seat mate (i.e., my husband) with the overhead light.

    If you don’t mind abandoning your library and the Amazon universe, I’ve heard good things about the new Kobo, and it is cheaper.

  10. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    DH got tired of waiting and informed me that he ordered a kindle paperwhite this morning while I was still asleep.

    • MutantSupermodel Says:

      July 15 is Amazon Prime Day which they are advertising as a huge sale day better than Black Friday. It’s only available for Prime members. Might want to see if they put it on sale…maybe they can hook up up with the difference?

  11. oldmdgirl Says:

    See, this is what I like about your blog. I had never even heard of the paperwhite before, and it looks as though it is marketed to…. me. Oops. I live under a rock.

    I do love my old school kindle though. So bummed they don’t make them anymore!

  12. chacha1 Says:

    If I had known DH was going to get me a Voyage I might have asked for the Paperwhite instead, but isn’t the screen a bit smaller?

    My old kindle doesn’t hold a charge well anymore, but I’m still reading on it (the books that were already loaded). Everything new gets delivered to my Voyage.

    I like it fine, the screen is a good size; it’s a little heavy for me to be comfortable holding it one-handed; plus I’m on the right side of the couch, so the screen tap thing is a big fail because I prefer to keep my right hand free for wine. He got me a cover that folds into a tripod thingy, and I usually just set the thing on the arm of the couch.

  13. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I have the no-frills. You make me want to get a Paperwhite. Sigh.


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